Italian Coffee

Italian Coffee.

My friend Jovina strikes gold again with this post.  Coffee is almost a sacred drink to me, probably because I’m addicted to it.  But  after reading this, my 2014 resolution is now to drink better quality coffee, even if only on the weekends.  Dunkin Donuts serves me well, but coffee can be a heck of a lot better- don’t you think?

West Virginia’s Little Italy Communities Courtesy of Jovina!

English: Festival Seal.

English: Festival Seal. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

West Virginia’s Little Italy Communities.

It’s been a while since I reposted anything from Jovina, mainly because I am a little behind in my reading and blogging these days.  I keep commenting to her about compiling all of her Little Italy material together into a book–she does such a magnificent job of describing the history, the culture and the food in these spots all across the USA.  I have never been disappointed, and you can just read the care and focus that go into each post.

If you’re like me, you have a hard time picturing Italian Americans South of New York and Philly.  I never knew the important role that Italian Americans played and continue to play in places like West Virginia.  So cool is all I can say.

Great job again Jovina! Hope everyone enjoys this post.  And follow her if you aren’t already!

More Yummy Stuff from Jovina – In The Mood For A Sandwich?

Sandwiches

Sandwiches (Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

In The Mood For A Sandwich?.

I haven’t reposted anything from Jovina in a while but couldn’t resist this post on sandwiches, or as we like to say in Rhode Island – sangwiches.  Jovina has a wonderful knack for making the ordinary extraordinary.  The oven fried green tomatoes look like my new favorite.  As usual, Brava Jovina!

Making up for lost time— another great Italian food,and more, blog to follow

Sardinia

Sardinia (Photo credit: giannisl)

The time snowed in with Nemo has given me a chance to rest, recollect myself and get to blogging again.

Jovina liked one of my posts and when I checked out her site I got blown away.  Not only is it about Italian food, how to make and enjoy it, but also what it means to the people who live off it.  And a great tour of the area to boot.  So, history, Italy, eating, cooking …  I’m a follower!  Check our her post on Sardinia

http://jovinacooksitalian.com/2013/02/08/the-cuisine-of-italy-sardinia/

Now I really want to make that trip in 2014!!

Feeling Good about 2012

Generations 1 and 5 together on Christmas Eve

Generations 1 and 5 together and 3 in the background this Christmas Eve. Photo courtesy of another 3, Dawne O’Brien

I hope everyone enjoyed Christmas, I sure did. I had a festive Christmas Eve full of fishes (4 of 7), family and fattening desserts. Squid salad, scallops wrapped in bacon, shrimp cocktail, my mother’s fried smelts and my sister Donna’s broccoli rabe. Decadent desserts that I simply gorged upon. And my family, who I am so proud of. We had five generations together laughing, eating, and being merry.

On Christmas Day we celebrated with the Mitchell/Naughton side of the family. I was a little more sleepy and stuffed than I should have been, but felt warm, comfy and cozy with my in-laws, who have welcomed me into their family and provide me with so much love and support, I can’t help but be thankful every day.

For what, you may ask? Well, there’s my husband, who keeps me from going crazy on a daily basis, and indulges me as I try to express myself through writing. My Julia, who is beginning her teen angst and attempting to drive me crazy on a daily basis. But she is strong, smart, beautiful, and rivals Andrea Boccelli at holding a note. It’s hard not to love on her too much now, as she tries to figure out who she is. Sometimes I can’t believe I helped make her. That we made her together. But she is both of us. The best of us both, really. And yes, she’s stubborn and emotional too, as she can’t have just our best qualities. She’ll have to learn how to balance her positive and negative energy, like we all do.

I feel blessed with so many friends, old and new. The old ones go back as far as Kindergarten, who know me good bad and ugly and still love me. The new ones from as recently as a few days ago, as I connect with writers and bloggers continually through pattytmitchell and other venues.

I know I am gushy now but I can’t apologize. This year has had its ups and downs, but I have learned from my downs, really. And I hope I’ve given something to others in return for all I have received.

The snow is falling gently here in Smithfield and I feel, at least for tonight, like I live in a snow shaker, the kind you buy in the Christmas department at Macy’s or some other big store. One that is so big and full of beautiful scenery, and iridescent crystals shimmering and floating around, with no particular destination. There are times when I have felt like those crystals, but not today. Today I am cozy and warm and reflecting on how fortunate I am, and just enjoying it.

I’ll be spending the next week going through the very thoughtful editing job that my friend Lisa made to “A Girl from the Hill.” I hope to have a final draft to the publisher before the end of this year, which is only a few days away.
Hope you all enjoy the rest of 2012, and I’ll be posting again on January 1, 2013. Till then, Peace and Love.

Struffoli – Italian Christmas Candy to Me

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/struffoli-recipe/index.html

English: Struffoli made in the traditional way...

English: Struffoli made in the traditional way from Sorrento. Marble sized dough balls covered in honey, citrus peel and hundreds and thousands. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My mother didn’t have the recipe written down for this one, so I’ve attached Giada’s here. I trust her, and her method seems closest to my mother and Grandma Jennie Testa’s. My mother told me to just use Wande dough for this but there are so many specific steps that I wanted to make sure that I captured them correctly.Italians make all kinds of wonderful desserts at Christmas. The cookies alone are of such great variety that I think one could really do a whole cookbook of them.Stuffoli differs in that it’s not a cake or a cookie, but these awesome fried balls of dough  molded together with honey and taste like candy. My Grandma Testa used to make these and so did my Auntie Dot, and I looked forward to getting a chunk, and chewing into the gooey honey and smacking my lips like Winnie the Pooh as I ate. My mother said Grandma, and her mother too, would shape the struffoli in the shape of a wreath and bring them to friends and family as gifts. Auntie Dot continued her mother’s tradition and would often make one just for me.

Struffoli does take time and focus, neither of which I have much of this holiday season. But I vow to make it next year, and deliver a wreath or two of honey balls to my own friends and family. And one for me too.

Disney's adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc....

Disney’s adaptation of Stephen Slesinger, Inc.’s Winnie-the-Pooh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lindt Ball Muffins – it’s not like they’re cupcakes…

Muffins

Muffins (Photo credit: firewave_fr)

http://thecookingchook.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/one-is-never-enough-lindt-ball-muffins/comment-page-1/#comment-382

Doesn’t this sound absolutely wonderful?! I love chocolate, and the muffin aspect helps one feel that these aren’t just pure decadence- though we know better.

I would love to try this for Christmas breakfast with coffee…unless someone wants to make them for me!